Governor-elect Chet Culver announced today (Tuesday) he?s naming a bipartisan commission to recommend changes to the state?s commercial property- tax system.
“It’s time to act,” Culver says. “We’ve been talking about this problem for a number of years, everyone knows that it’s creating a lot of stress and strain so we’ve got to take some action.”
Culver says on the campaign trail he kept hearing from small businesspeople struggling with high property taxes, and that’s why he’s giving his commission only until January sixteenth to make their recommendations. “So that we can at least start the process of giving some relief in terms of commercial property taxes,” Culver adds. He says it’s not clear how long it’ll take to get a handle on the rates, but he hopes this session to be able to take a first step.
Culver says he hasn’t ruled out broader tax reform, but the immediate priority will be relief for Iowa businesses. He’s named Union County Supervisor Mike King and Dubuque activist Teri Goodman to co-chair the commission, . Culver says he’s giving them a clear focus: reducing commercial (tax) rates quickly. He says the commission will hold its first public hearing December 20th and will hold one or two more after that.
Culver says he thinks there are a few things that can be done immediately to give commercial property tax payers some relief. He says it may require some state spending, to ensure that the tax burden is not shifted to residential and agricultural property.
Culver, who’ll be sworn in January 12th, began his career as an environmental and consumer advocate in the Iowa Attorney General’s office. He’s finishing his second term as Secretary of State.